PR Now & Next Conference

PR Now & Next Conference

July 20-21, 2017
Price: $1395
Member Price: $1145
  • Increase your recognition—and earn bigger budgets
  • Learn new secrets of getting hired or promoted in PR
  • Fire up brand ambassadors with honest storytelling
  • Shoot videos that move audiences—and boost the bottom line
  • Get a jump on the trends shaping the PR of tomorrow
  • Pitch A-list journalists in a live "pitch tank"

Master what's now • Discover what's next • Get ahead • Stay ahead

Twitter hashtag: #prnow

Can't attend in person? Sign up for our live webcast!

Presented by:     Sponsored by:
Ragan PRSA: Public Relations Society of America PR Daily Incharged

Product Code: Y17CR0CH
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    Featuring keynote presentations from:
    Mike Erwin, director of corporate communications and social media
    Take charge of your career: Exclusive hiring trends and career advice for communicators
    Shannon Cason THE MOTH
    Shannon Cason, host and Mainstage storyteller
    Truth to power! Brutally honest storytelling is the future of PR
    Joseph Ogden, professor of communications

    Be brilliant: Turn "big idea" campaigns into tomorrow's competitive edge
    Also featuring:
    Jenn Herman, author of "The Ultimate Guide to Instagram"
    Take breathtaking Instagram photos: Secrets of a visually stunning feed
    Justina Chen MICROSOFT
    Drew Keller, content developer, video team
    Concept to can: Essential videography skills to save your job
    Michelle Mermelstein SPRINT
    Michelle Leff Mermelstein, media relations manager
    The "write" stuff: Craft a perfect media pitch in less time
    Michele Weldon, professor emerita
    Brave the media pitch tank: 10 seconds to succeed or die
    Gail Marksjarvis CHICAGO TRIBUNE
    Gail Marksjarvis, personal finance reporter
    Brave the media pitch tank: 10 seconds to succeed or die
    Kit Graham, founder and blogger
    Brave the media pitch tank: 10 seconds to succeed or die
    Stephen J. Lewis, features producer
    Brave the media pitch tank: 10 seconds to succeed or die
    Showbiz Shelly B96 RADIO
    Showbiz Shelly, entertainment reporter, co-host (The J Show)
    Brave the media pitch tank: 10 seconds to succeed or die
    Beth Nyland, lead instructor
    Cut the bull! How to write short in the age of "less is more"
    Carolyn Shelby TRONC
    Carolyn Shelby, director of SEO
    How to trend: Get into Google News with a killer headline and lead
    Tony Amrich VIRGIN AMERICA
    Tony Amrich, director of social media
    Oh, Snap! Join the Snapchat party to engage your millennial audience
    Kate Talbot Oh Snap! You Can Use Snapchat for Business
    Kate Talbot, author of "Oh Snap! You Can Use Snapchat for Business"
    Oh Snap! Join the Snapchat party to engage your millennial audience
    G. Andrew Meyer FACEBOOK
    G. Andrew Meyer, creative lead, global marketing
    Next-level Facebook strategies: Interactive ads and new tools to tell—and sell—your story
    Buddy Scalera Dell
    Sarah Luden, global communications consultant
    The future content strategist: Update today's content plans for tomorrow
    Sandra Fathi AFFECT
    Sandra Fathi, president
    State of the union: Future-proof your PR team in the era of fake news, emerging tech and "reputation as currency"
    Siobhan Aalders SHUTTERSTOCK
    Siobhan Aalders, vice president of communications
    State of the union: Future-proof your PR team in the era of fake news, emerging tech and "reputation as currency"
    Shel Holtz, principal
    Communicating in a screenless world: Get ready for chatbots, augmented reality and mixed reality
    Jill Pollack, founder and director
    "Hyperlocal" isn't hype: Tell micro-focused stories for macro results
    Peter Doherty THE WALSH GROUP
    Peter Doherty, director of public relations
    "Hyperlocal" isn't hype: Tell micro-focused stories for macro results
    Louis Gray GOOGLE
    Louis Gray, advocacy team leader, Google Analytics
    The next phase of analytics: Go beyond the numbers to transform data into action

DAY 2—The future summit: What's next in practical PR

Friday, July 21

9-9:40 a.m.
Truth to power! Brutally honest storytelling is the future of PR
Shannon CasonYour brand is who you are. Gimmicks are shunned and true authenticity is rewarded in today's PR landscape—and that's only going to continue as the public pushes harder against fake news, misinformation, political hyperbole and, yes, corporate spin. That's why nothing grabs more attention than a true story. In this inspiring keynote, Shannon Cason, storyteller with The Moth, Snap Judgment and WBEZ Chicago, shares keys to what he calls "brutally honest storytelling" so you and your execs can connect with audiences with greater transparency to rebuild trust and instill confidence during what's been called the post-truth, post-trust era.

You'll learn:

  • What makes a great story and storyteller
  • How to discover or revamp your "voice"
  • How to keep your audience's attention riveted with your stories
  • Methods to help you stop telling people what you're trying to communicate—and start showing them
  • How to be as vulnerable as you dare while still controlling the narrative
  • How your brutally honest stories—or those of your execs and spokespeople—will leave fans cleaving to your every word
  • And more ...
Shannon Cason is a host, Mainstage storyteller and GrandSLAM champion with The Moth. @shannoncason

9:50-10:30 a.m.
First-class Facebook strategies: Interactive ads and new tools to tell—and sell—your story
G. Andrew MeyerFacebook and Instagram are the largest social networks worldwide, and their dominance is sure to escalate as they both continue to innovate. New algorithm updates, flexible publishing tools, Facebook Live and interactive ads all represent powerful new ways to build and engage audiences on these increasingly mobile and visual ecosystems. Join this session to take advantage of these developments—straight from Facebook's own award-winning creative director. You'll leave with the perfect blend of "what's next" inspiration and "what's best" information to grow your Facebook and Instagram results today and in the years ahead.

You'll learn:

  • What's coming soon from Facebook and Instagram—and how to prepare now
  • Smart ways to balance organic and paid media on Facebook and Instagram
  • How to take advantage of algorithm changes that favor video
  • The future of interactive advertising on mobile feeds
  • How interactive ads can help you tell a more compelling story—and how to dip your toes into dynamic display ads at a small cost
  • Best practices and case studies: How other brands get the most out of Facebook and Instagram's latest features—including dynamic ads
  • And more ...
G. Andrew Meyer is the creative lead in global marketing at Instagram and Facebook, Inc.

10:40-11:30 a.m.
The future content strategist: Update today's content plans for tomorrow
Sarah LudenHave you updated your plans so you can create and distribute high-quality content that stands out from the crowd—from better stories and social media posts to increased videos, photos and infographics? Have you integrated influencer programs into your content strategy? If not, your results and your reputation are at risk. Join this session to hear how Dell keeps its content fresh—and learn how you can optimize your content today and in the coming years.

You'll learn:

  • How to create timeless quality content that stands out from the crowd
  • How to influence and execute truly integrated, collaborative PR stories and content plans that scale for the future
  • How to create a future-ready team: Practical ways to gain consensus across your organization (from SMEs to digital media and beyond)
  • What's next for influencer marketing: Unique ways to find—and build relationships with—forward-looking influencers with an interesting POV
  • Future-proof practices for positioning your brand as a trusted advisor in media coverage, online content, social media and at events
Sarah Luden is a global communications consultant at Dell.

11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
State of the union: Future-proof your PR team in the era of fake news, emerging tech and "reputation as currency"
Sandra FathiSiobahn AaldersThe PR industry is undergoing a rapid transformation—from rapidly shrinking newsrooms and the rise of fake news to emerging technology like artificial intelligence and virtual reality and the critical impact of an organization's reputation on the bottom line. PR pros need to fully understand the "state of the union" in order to rise to these unprecedented industry challenges and create new opportunities for the brands they represent. In this session, two leading agency and internal PR and social media execs will address some of the biggest trends in public relations and provide tactical advice for communications professionals to reinvent and innovate the way they work today. If you want to future-proof your department, your campaigns and your communications career, this is one session you can't afford to miss.

You'll learn:

  • The state of the PR industry today—the biggest challenges and opportunities affecting your job and how to adjust to them
  • Why reputation is PR's greatest currency in the age of fake news
  • How to build a better brand reputation in the digital age
  • The new and rapidly-evolving rules of media relations
  • Emerging tech that will influence storytelling and brand reputation
  • How to reinvent the way you do your job
  • And more ...
Sandra Fathi is the president of Affect. @sandrafathi

Siobahn Aalders is the vice president of communications at Shutterstock. @siobhana

12:20-1 p.m.
Lunch (provided on site)

1-1:40 p.m.
Communicating in a screenless world: Get ready for chatbots, augmented reality and mixed reality
Shel HoltzAll the signs point to the gradual shift from a screen-driven communication environment to a world in which pulling a screen out of your pocket will be so, like, 15 minutes ago. Many of the skills communicators take for granted today will be all but obsolete as we learn to write scripts for chatbots (both text and voice-enabled) and ensure content is accessible through augmented and mixed reality platforms. In this eye-opening session, communication technology specialist Shel Holtz will introduce you to the state of these emerging channels, project how they will replace the smartphone, and show how you can ease the transition of your communication strategies to accommodate these exciting technologies.

You'll learn:

  • Why messaging apps will lead to the screenless interface
  • Why the rise of "hearables" will change the way we communicate
  • The role of scripting in communications departments and agencies
  • Why "one true answer" will change the ways we optimize for search
  • Why augmented reality will become a common communications tool this year
  • How internal comms and PR will use chatbots, augmented reality and voice tech
  • How to experiment and innovate without breaking the bank
  • And more ...
Shel Holtz is the principal of Holtz Communication + Technology. @shelholtz

1:50-2:30 p.m.
"Hyperlocal" isn't hype: Tell micro-focused stories for macro results
Jill PollackPeter DohertyHyperlocal news and communications are the future of content marketing. It's already happening in the search and advertising worlds. No longer is it about telling your brand story or delivering information—it's about talking with the right people about the right subjects in the right format and at the right time. But how do you find and connect with those targeted audiences? How do you start the conversation? What are the tools and techniques you can use to ensure your content is ultra-targeted—and ultra-successful? Learn the answers to these questions and more from a story specialist with a unique perspective on how to develop stories that connect with specific audiences, and a communications exec who uses these methods every day. In one hour, you'll learn how to apply hyperlocal principles to your communications—so you can jump into the "ultra-personalized" revolution before it's too late.

You'll learn:

  • Why hyperlocal will change your writing process
  • The growing role of mobile technology in storytelling
  • New methods for identifying and understanding your audiences
  • The necessary equation for a micro-focused PR story
  • Tactics for continuing the story across multiple media
  • Strategies for building a two-way conversation with targeted audiences
  • New ways to think about traditional information outlets
  • And more ...
Jill Pollack is founder and director of StoryStudio Chicago. @jill_pollack @StoryStudio

Peter Doherty is director of public relations at The Walsh Group. @thebiggreenw @dohertytweets

2:30-3 p.m.
Networking break

3-3:40 p.m.
The next phase of analytics: Go beyond the numbers to transform data into action
Louis GrayCutting-edge communicators know they can show value for their effort with smart analytics. But the future of analytics is much more than data points and line charts. How can you strategically leverage a powerful suite of tools to drive better results today, gain unique insights and prepare for a rapidly changing world of publishing? In this talk, Louis Gray will explain how the new generation of marketers and PR professionals can become more strategic in their analysis and how they can quickly adjust in a complex distribution landscape, all while rapidly sharing wins with clients and management. Whether you're a numbers newbie or metrics savant, this is the direct insight you'll need to transform data into action.

You'll learn:

  • Where measurement and analytics are headed next
  • Easy ways to leverage smart insights automatically
  • How to create highly visual measurement dashboards to impress execs
  • Methods for rapidly optimizing sites and landing pages, based on data
  • How to tap into Google tools and create your own news and hooks
  • How to uncover content that drives long-term customer value and ROI
  • And more ...
Louis Gray is advocacy team leader for Google Analytics. @louisgray

3:40-4:30 p.m.
Be brilliant: Turn "big idea" campaigns into tomorrow's competitive edge
Joseph OgdenBig ideas are cutting through the clutter in our digital world today—but are they coming from communicators? Let's face it: PR has learned a thing or two from advertising and marketing, but we have to keep evolving if we're to maintain—and gain—a competitive edge in the future. Join this inspiring, informative keynote with professor Joseph Ogden to learn the techniques behind the very best PR campaigns today. Each technique taps numerous social and traditional channels to deliver its message; all are highly innovative, data driven and very focused. He'll share how campaign strategy has evolved, the secret elements of successful PR campaigns and how to develop your own big ideas for a greater competitive edge in the future. You'll also discover how to tap into the creativity hiding in plain site within your organization.

You'll learn:

  • How PR campaigns have evolved and where they're going
  • The latest techniques for idea creation—and how to use them
  • The three magical components that make up a "big idea"
  • Secrets of some of the best PR campaigns in recent memory
  • Techniques to make your ideas fly—even in turbulent weather
  • And more ...
Joseph Ogden is an associate teaching professor of public relations at Brigham Young University. @CommsStrategist